The One Rose Trilogy, Matriarchy and Following Your Own Rules

Compass Rose

(This review was first published on April 1, 2014, on my old blog.   The articles it refers to will appear here eventually, but this one had to go up now in response to this tumblr post.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that used the Left Behind novels as a worst-case example for remaining consistent to the rules you establish in your story (as they are the worst-case example for so many things). In the same post, I included what I consider to be a good example of remaining consistent to the rules you establish: the One Rose trilogy by Gail Dayton.

Having had a bit of time to think about it, it seems that the positive example and advice for internal consistency deserves a bit more attention, as does the One Rose Trilogy itself.
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Spotlighted Link: Slacktivist


I’ve been following Fred Clark’s blog, Slacktivist, for a very long time.  Back to the Typepad Days, as other long-running Slacktivites might say.  Nearly fourteen years now, almost since the very beginning of Fred’s famous deconstruction of the Left Behind books.

I chose Fred Clark to be my first Spotlighted Link, and the first link on my Links page, for three reasons:

  1. Fred’s Left Behind posts may be the best “What Not To Do” primer for writers on the Internet.  The Left Behind series is, as Fred himself says, “Instructively Bad”, and seeing their many flaws dissected (complete with suggestions as to how it could have been done better and even fix-fic in the comments) has aided the development of my own writing a great deal.
  2. Fred grew up in the White Christian Evangelical subculture, and remains a member to this day, though he is known in that subculture as “controversial” (which, if you were a reader of Fred’s work, you would know means “heretical”).  Reading Fred gives you an intimate view into this subculture, with all its traditions and shibboleths.  If you’re an American, you may think you know them.  You don’t.
  3. Last but not least, Fred has been a tremendous inspiration to me personally.  His compassion and hunger for justice, and his writings on those topics, have given me both desire and directions to be a better person.  His post LB: The Rise of the Anti-Huck (a post from his Left Behind critique) is probably the best example I can offer, as he analyzes the greatest moment of Salvation and triumph of love over The Rules in American fiction…and contrasts it with the “heroes” of Left Behind.

Check it out!  Before you go, check out my brand new Links page.

By the way, as we say in pretty much every thread on Slacktivist, Fred has a Patreon.  Support the artist.

And while you’re at it, consider picking up some of Fred’s books, which collect his blog posts.


Long March of the Koalas

…which discusses his opinions on Creationism (spoiler: not only bad science, but bad religion).

And of course, there’s what you really came for: the two-volume The Anti-Christ Handbook, which collects his columns on the first book of the Left Behind series.

Anti-Christ Handbook 1

Anti-Christ Handbook 2




“It’s about believing in yourself.”

I saw the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line for the first time last night.  It was a powerful movie, but there was one scene in particular that stuck with me:

If I could, I’d put a recording of that speech in my alarm clock.

Every artist, in every medium, has a responsibility to tell their truth in their work.  Maybe it will sell, maybe it won’t.  In the end, we have no choice, because nothing else will work.  You can’t tell someone else’s truth and make anyone else believe it.

Found Stories: The Meat Loaf Album Covers

This story was originally published on my old blog on February 19, 2013.  I include it here partly because I think it’s an interesting meditation on creativity, inspiration and the process of writing…and partly because I really like it and want to share it with a new audience.

As I say on my About page, I’ve always loved the Stories. But here’s the thing about the Stories: they don’t stop. Call it a blessing, call it a curse – I can look at the most unlikely thing and build a story out of it. For example, I’ve built an entire mythos out of Meat Loaf album covers. It’s true. Let me show you what I mean:

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